Friday, December 19, 2008

First Ice!!!

Well, the time is here to start fishing the hard waters of Michigan! I headed out to a local lake to test the ice and see if my season of ice fishing could start. I ventured out on Little Seven Lake in Seven Lakes State Park and was happy to find 4+ inches of good, solid ice! It was only an hour or so until dark, so my time was limited. I popped a hole in the ice, set up and sat down. For the next hour, it was all I could do to keep my hands warm because I never had enough time to get my gloves on! Now when I went out, I didn't think I would find good ice, let alone find a hot-spot on the first hole. I was pulling gills up as fast as I could put the line back down to the bottom. Out of the 30 or so fish that I caught, 15 were definite keepers along with a 15 inch bass, my first taken through the ice. But, I didn't feel like cleaning any fish that night, so everything made it back to the hole.
A couple of days later I went out to Big Seven Lake and found a solid 5+ inches of good ice, but lady luck wasn't with me that day and I went home with an empty bucket.

Then this past weekend, I decided to take my two youngest out on the ice with me. I was also accompanied by Mikey from the Up North Journal. We decided to hit Little Seven Lake again and try our luck. I got my kids set up and, at first, the bite was slow. We really didn't have any action for the first hour. But then things picked up and the spring bobbers on the end of our rods were starting to earn their keep. In between bites, the kids were taking turns spinning in circles on the buckets and making snow angels, as well as a quick game of "fishball" (it's just like football, just with a frozen fish).

Every couple of minutes they would come back over to the poles and fish for a second before finding another game to play. One of the times they came back to fish, my daughter, Caitlyn, was holding the rod and the tip bent right down. She fought and fought like it was the last thing she was going to do. After a minute or so of reeling, I saw the flash of silver in the hole. When she finally pulled that fish out of the hole, I couldn't have been more proud. My daughter had pulled her first bass out of the ice. At only 12 inches, we had to let him swim away, but not before a picture and alot of praise. Later that night, I cleaned the fish and tried a new recipe. But that will have to wait until next time...

The kids and their catch from our day on the ice

Caitlyn and her first bass

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Another Recipe: Disturbed Duck (or goose)

After posting that last recipe, I decided to start to put some more up from time to time. Here is one of my favorites. I got it from my good buddy Mike at the Up North Journal. The original recipe came from one of the forums on This is a very simple recipe with very few ingredients. And it can be done with eaither duck or goose breasts. I changed the recipe a bit, so here is my version of "Disturbed Duck"......

Disturbed Duck

Here is what you will need.....

1 duck breast
Teriyaki (I use Veri Veri Teriyaki)
Soy Sauce
Worcestershire Sauce
Olive Oil
Any kind of instant rice or noodles (I like the chicken flavored rice or the teriyaki rice)

Start off by taking a duck breast and clean it off really good. Then cut it into thin strips (approx. 1/3in. x 3in.). Then mix 1/3 cup Teriyaki, 1 tsp soy sauce (I use the low sodium stuff), 1 1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce, and 2 tsp olive oil in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Immediately turn the heat down to medium and whisk until thoroughly mixed. Start your rice or noodles per directions on the box. Put the breast strips in the sauce pan with the teriyaki mixture and cook on medium heat until you start to see the strips turn grey and blood just starts to come out of them then flip them over. Cook only for another 2 minutes or so. Duck is very easy to over cook, so watch it carefully. If you want, after you flip the breast strips, you can add a variety of whatever you want. Broccoli, sesame seeds, onion, and water chestnuts all work well. Use your imagination! Let it cool for a minute then pour it over the rice or noodles. You can make this as lavish or as simple as you like. I really enjoy these right before I go on a hunt because it is simple and quick, but very filling.

Friday, December 5, 2008

A Great Salmon Recipe: Maple Salmon

Over the past three weeks, I haven't been feeling 100%, so I haven't been out in the field a whole lot. Then, I have spent the better part of this past week getting various tests done, most of which required fasting. As of last night, I hadn't eaten in almost 48 hours, but I was still restricted because of another test, and could only eat off of a very limited menu. No meat, vegetables, butter, dairy, fried, or fatty foods. I was not very happy with my choices, but then I noticed at the bottom of the list that I could have fish! Rock On! So I dug up some old recipes and found a great one that is simple and delicious....

Maple SalmonIngredients:
1/4 cup Maple Syrup (if you want, you can cheat and use imitation)
1 pound of Salmon (I use fillets, but you can use stakes; just keep them under 2in. thick)
1/8 tbsp Ground Black Pepper
1 clove Garlic (minced)
1/4 tsp Garlic Salt
2 tbsp Soy Sauce

Mix together the soy sauce, maple syrup, garlic, garlic salt, and pepper. In a shallow baking dish, place the salmon and coat with the syrup mixture, cover, and place in the fridge for 1 hour, turning once. Preheat the oven to 400F. Then, place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until easily flaked with a fork.

Simple as that. Easy and oh-so delicious. And it's healthy to boot!